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Hidden Figures

Bringing together women and non binary people with a background or interest in science, to share their knowledge,  expertise, experience and curiosity. 

In response to conversations during the 2022 Nottingham Festival of Science and Curiosity, with women who wanted to be more involved or explore their  interests in STEM research. Hidden Figures was created as a space for women and non-binary people, who may have faced barriers to exploring and developing their interests for reasons of family, caring, work or immigration status. 


The Hidden Figures Project aims to create space for women, and people who identify as women and/non-binary; to have conversations, develop confidence and share knowledge around their own interests and connections to scientific research. The themes explored throughout the project have been identified through collaborations between artists and scientists, in relation to their own expertise, and in turn through the participation of and collaboration with,  community groups. Each group has focused on topics that affect its members personally, and have used discussions, insights, creative activities and scientific research for further exploration. The project is now in its second year, and we have fostered a collaborative approach that brings together artists, scientists and community groups to explore their interests, share expertise, experience and passion for subjects that effect their lives and work. Together they are sharing knowledge, exchanging skills and telling stories to add their own perspective and cross cultural influence to ongoing scientific research. 

If you are an artist, scientist or community group and would like more information or to get involved with future projects please get in touch, we would love to hear from you. 

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Hidden Figures 2024

Messy Kitchen for Better Sleep is the first iteration and outcome of the Hidden Figures Project, 2024.

A collaboration between artist Chiara Dellerba, scientist Emma Sweeney (NTU) and Heya - a non-profit organisation based in Nottingham, that provides support to empower, improve integrity and build a stronger community among Arab women.

Messy Kitchen for Better Sleep takes nutrition and food as primary objects to investigate how sleep and sleep disorders affect women’s health. Starting with the question: What does good sleep mean to you? The group gathered over the course of two months to reflect, share, collect knowledge and develop mutual support around the topic. Scientific facts mixed with folk medicine and traditional recipes from different countries have been shaping the project throughout its development. Alongside these discussions; cooking, rearranging, dismantling, rebuilding, rethinking, reimagining, eating and provoking, became the main ingredients which create the multilayered nature of Messy Kitchen for Better Sleep.

This iteration of the project culminates in a public programme led by Heya taking place at Green's Windmill and Science Center; around; food making, conviviality and knowledge sharing. A playful mini series of workshops, recipe sharing, a scientific guide to kitchen ingredients all around a communal table; where findings and collective solutions are shared. Messy Kitchen for Better Sleep aims to shed light on the power that a holistic approach, cross cultural collaboration and collective reflection, have in supporting women’s health and developing long term tactics to better quality of sleep. 

Healthy Soil  - The second iteration of this project began with an ideation session in December and continued with weekly sessions from February through to March. The group was led in collaboration between artist Rebecca Beinhart, Soil Physics PHD researcher at the University of Nottingham Kits Campbell and The Pamoja Women's Group, taking place  at the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum. 

In these sessions Rebecca and Kits have worked with the Pamoja group to investigate and learn together about soil, land use and care, cross-cultural knowledge, connectedness to land, and scientific research. After five sessions at the NNRF the group visited the University of Nottingham Sutton Bonington Campus for a full tour of the facilities and garden led by Kits. Here the group learned about identifying properties of different soils, technologies used for imagining and printing detailed scans of soil and different aspects of soil science, including testing on the campus allotment site. 





Read more about the project here 

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Coming soon... 
           Soil Recipes 


You are invited to join us for Soil Recipes in the Nottingham & Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum Community Garden, as a part of the Taste the World Party - where there will be delicious food, great entertainment, music, a new cook book launch and more to enjoy!


Soil Recipes was developed in collaboration between; Artist Rebecca Beinart,

Soil Scientist Kits Campbell, and The Pamoja Women's Group, as part of the Hidden Figures Programme, from February to March 2024.


Soil Recipes brings together artwork, writing, research, and ideas cultivated throughout the Hidden Figures project, and presents them here as creative activities, a publication and outdoor installation, all exploring the question: What is healthy soil?

No need to book, everyone is welcome! 

At the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum,

The Sycamore Centre, 33a Hungerhill Road, Nottingham, NG3 4NB


21st June 2024, 3pm - 7pm (drop in)


Find out more about Taste the World Party 


For more information contact our Community Porgammes Lead -

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Hidden Figures, 2023

The first iteration of Hidden Figures in 2023, was based at City Arts and expanded to work with existing groups around the City including; When Women Gather and the Pamoja Women Together Group at the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum.  Throughout the project artist Rebecca Beinart worked with the group to explore their ideas and interests through creative activities. These activities resulted in connections made across communities, cultures and time.


Women from these groups have, through conversation and creativity shared knowledge of: recipes, herbalism, remedies, rituals, sustainability, self sufficiency and care.​The project culminated with the Hidden Figures Tasting Session - a feast for the senses brought together from local recipes, herbalist research and archival concoctions, that took place during the 2023 Nottingham Festival of Science and Curiosity.


During the event the group invited people to join them for an evening. In celebration of the project the group created this session for tasting, sharing and exchanging recipes, remedies and knowledge with a wider audience. The event also showcased a book that became a collection of stories, recipes, wisdom and research shared by different women throughout the project, history and scientific research. The audience were invited to add to the book throughout the evening. The Hidden Figures book is now housed in The Nottingham Women's Center Library. ​

Hidden Figures celebrates the knowledge of all self-identifying women and non- binary folk who aren't currently working in science for reasons of family, care, health, work or immigration status. This project was funded through an Awards for All grant from the National Lottery Community Fund in 2023. 

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